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Easy Homemade Brown Sugar

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You’re going to make those cookies for a party you’re attending, and look in the pantry to discover that you’re out of brown sugar! Such a simple thing, but when you run out, there is just not a great alternative that is going to make those cookies turn out well. In walk blackstrap molasses! Making brown sugar at home is simple and cheap! In one easy step, you can make soft and fluffy dark or light brown sugar and not have to worry about having brown sugar on hand.

brown sugar in a bowl.

What is Blackstrap Molasses?

Let’s back up a bit. Blackstrap molasses is a thick liquid produced in the production of sugar. It is made from extracting juice from sugar cane and boiling it down to make sugar crystals. The sugar crystals rise to the top during boiling and pulled out, leaving the liquid dark. Each time the liquid is boiled, the molasses goes from light, dark, to finally blackstrap, the thickest and stickiest of molasses. Light molasses can be used in place of maple syrup, as it contains more sugar. Dark molasses is darker, has a richer flavor, but still thin viscosity. Blackstrap molasses is the most bitter of molasses, but is also a powerhouse of minerals.

What are the Benefits of Blackstrap Molasses?

Besides making brown sugar, blackstrap molasses has many other benefits! It is naturally high in iron, minerals, and vitamin B6. Just one tablespoon a day contains 20% of the recommended daily value of iron! It is also rich in calcium, magnesium, potassium, selenium, and manganese. It contains everything that was taken out of sugar cane to begin with, so it’s only natural to add it back in!

Other Uses for Blackstrap Molasses

Because it’s rich in so many different minerals, it has been used a variety of ways as a supplement to naturally support the body. Here are some of the ways:

  • Healthy Hair and skin- The minerals in blackstrap molasses help support the health of hair and skin from the inside out! Diluted with water, it can also be used as a hair and skin treatment before washing away.
  • Arthritis reliever- The anti-inflammatory properties of blackstrap molasses can ease symptoms by reducing swelling and discomfort.
  • Strong Bones- Blackstrap contains naturally occurring calcium, to promote strong and healthy bones and connective tissues.
  • Preventing anemia- Because of its high iron content, taking blackstrap as a supplement can support the prevention of anemia.
  • Menstrual Pain- Many women have reported using blackstrap to help ease menstrual cramps and heavy periods. This is likely due to the iron and other minerals it contains.
  • Supports healthy blood sugar- Because of it’s low glycemic index, blackstrap molasses can be substituted instead of refined sugar. Just remember, it will be much less sweet.
  • Restless legs- The manganese and magnesium play a role in helping relieve restless legs.

While blackstrap molasses is the most bitter of molasses because the most sugar has been boiled out, I have taken some in warm milk or water before bed and it was quite good!

Where to Buy Blackstrap Molasses

I bought my blackstrap molasses from Azure standard. They key for looking for molasses is making sure it is un-sulfured. When unripe sugar cane is processed, they add sulfur dioxide to as a preservative. Here is a good option on Amazon.

pinterest pin of making brown sugar.

How to Make Homemade Brown Sugar

Making homemade brown sugar will make you wonder why you ever relied on store bought! There are a few ways I have found to be the quickest and easiest to turn sugar into fluffy brown sugar. The best part is, you can create light or dark brown sugar depending on the amount of molasses you add.

  • Light Brown Sugar- For every cup of white sugar, add 1 tsp of molasses.
  • Dark Brown Sugar- For every cup of white sugar, at 2 tsp of molasses.

Small Batch- up to 2 cups

Place the sugar in a medium size bowl. Using a tablespoon, make an indent in the sugar. Pour the molasses into the indent until it is filled up. For dark brown sugar, make two indents to fill. Doing this instead of filling the spoon directly will save you from having to wash the sticky molasses off. Using a whisk or spoon, start mixing together until it resembles brown sugar! That’s it! It usually takes a minute or two to get it really incorporated. It starts to look shaggy before it fully incorporates into the sugar. (The pictures below show 1 cup of sugar.)

white sugar with teaspoon in it.
Pouring blackstrap molasses into bowl of sugar.
Halfway mixing brown sugar.

Large Batch- 2 or more cups

When I’m making more than 2 cups of brown sugar, I like to break out my mixer! Do the same as above and let the mixer do the mixing! I also use this method when I’m about to make a recipe, as I usually need to cream butter and sugar. I quickly make the brown sugar and go straight into making the recipe!

How to Keep Brown Sugar Soft

In our home, I usually whip up brown sugar when I need it, so needing to keep it soft isn’t usually an issue. (Another plus of making brown sugar yourself in my opinion!) If you’re looking to make a large batch of brown sugar to have on hand, here are some tips:

  • Place a slice of bread in the container of brown sugar and let sit overnight. The sugar will pull moisture from the bread and it will become stale. Be sure toe swap the bread out every few days, as I imagine it will mold if left too long.
  • You can also put marshmallows in the container, and it will help soften the sugar. Replace the marshmallows when they get hard.
  • For a quicker option, place a damp paper towel in the container and microwave (make sure your container is microwave safe!)
homemade brown sugar recipe card.

Feel free to save this graphic for the next time you need to make brown sugar!

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